Two annual events highly popular with the general public are taking over Valletta this Friday and Saturday. Clifford Jo Żahra catches up with Angele Galea, artistic consultant for this year’s European Researchers’ Night, Science in the City, to better understand what’s noteworthy about this year’s edition.
You are the artistic consultant of Science in the City. What does your role entail?
I get researchers in contact with artists so that their work is portrayed in an entertaining and informative manner. It has been an exciting year for me, collaborating with some of Malta’s brightest brains where it comes to current research at the University of Malta.
How did Science in the House proceed?
Science in the House is in its fifth edition now, and it involves an informative exhibition of current research in parliament. Researchers were eager to explain their work to members of parliament, as it is a great platform by which to raise awareness on the importance of research, and Members of Parliament do recognise such importance.
Apart from current research carried out on the brain, this year we’re also highlighting the remarkable work of four personalities through posters, documentaries, and models. These are Prof Luis Vassallo, professor of medicine, who addressed multiple sclerosis and its prevalence in Malta; Prof George Peter Xuereb, professor of pathology and his discovery of the arterial supply and venous of the human hypophysis cerebri; Dr Ludwic Zrinzo, senior lecturer in Neurosurgery and his work in safety and precision in deep brain stimulation; and Prof Edward de Bono, and his work in brain training and lateral thinking pioneer.
Researchers and students will be at hand to explain the studies to the public, for better understanding. This event will also see the launch of the Malta Chamber of Scientist’s first science policy framework. This plan aims to bring together research organisations, government, educational institutions and civil society. Prioritising science will ultimately improve the social and economic landscape across the Maltese islands.
Are there any attractions which are not be missed this year?
Brain Rave is an interactive artistic installation, whereby interactive artists Andrew Schembri and Toni Gialanzé have teamed up to create Late Interactive. This collaboration gives the public the possibility to wear an EEG headset which will translate brain waves into music ranging from atmospheric synths to pounding rave beats. The music generated by the participants will in turn be accompanied by stunning visuals generated in real time, onto an array of 3,840 LEDs.
An exhibition presented by Mental Health Services is also worth visiting. It explains the evolution of psychiatry in Malta, starting from the times of the Knights. An audio documentary will be explaining the exhibits, with actors animating the passage of time.
Interactive Exhibitions, artworks, live experiments, music, theatre and symposiums are expected to represent the latest research on the human brain in innovative ways. Such hands-on activities will enable visitors of all ages to understand otherwise complex science principles.
Have a look at the entire programme here: http://scienceinthecity.org.mt/programme/.
Science in the City is recognised as a Festival by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE), and is happening this Friday, September 30th, in Valletta. Activities start at 6pm.Details about each and every activity can now be accessed by means of a downloadable free of charge mobile app, complete with an interactive map, time schedules and age appropriateness (see http://scienceinthecity.org.mt/app/).
The festival is being organised by the University of Malta, the Malta Chamber of Scientists and the University’s Research Trust (RIDT), in collaboration with various other partners. It is supported by the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth & Sport, Jugs Malta, Studio 7, MEUSAC, MCST, Valletta Local Council, MCAST, PBS, Notte Bianca, Spazju Kreattiv, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, and General Soft drinks with Coca Cola.
© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra